On Foodways

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Spinach Farm with Judy Hageman and Bill Warner

The farm is 240 acres of land, a house, and hoop houses. Bill Warner and Judy Hageman take care of the WHOLE thing.

The only thing that heats the greenhouses is the sun. At night, they are as cold as outside.

Bill’s secret is to freeze the spiniach. So, when the other farmers say, “Don’t freeze, don’t freeze!” he says, “Freeze, freeze!” If you freeze and than, the spinache gets sweeter every time. Other farmers try what he does, but the taste is “down in the soil”, he says. They sell spinach to restaurants, and sometimes at the Farmer’s Market, because they get better prices selling to the market and restaurants than to stores.



The family spends a lot of time in the library. Books about farming help them. They grow spinach organically. They have a little problem with aphids. The aphids eat some of the spinach. If you eat an aphid, the aphid would die. Nothing would happen to you.



Mary was born on the farm. It used to be a dairy farm.


Spinach, green and wet.
In rows they lay.
Not ready to pick.
It tastes good when cooked.
Cook it as you like.
Hooray for spinach.


Danz Pig Farm

What surprised me the most about our trip was when I saw how big the pigs were. I thought they’d be the size of a small dog, but they are as big as a person on his knees! I enjoyed the color of the baby pigs, their hazy blue eyes and silky pink skin. I loved holding the small, cute piglets, especially when one was really quiet and didn’t try to get away. The smell at the pig farm was beyond the word “strong,” but I did okay. It takes getting used to. I remember hearing the squealing of the piglets and the sows and hogs. I was scared of the big grandfather herd (that means they’re purebred). The most disgusting thing was the placenta the piglets were in when they came out of the sow. The most peaceful thing was when we got OUT of the pig farm.


When you walk in where they keep the piglets the first thought you have (besides the really bad smell) is “oh, how adorable!” But after a while you feel bad for the sows that have to put up with all the racket and squealing. Then you think how much it resembles our class, scrambling to get a seat on the couch! I bet their mothers feel like squashing them! Of course, they can’t—the sows are barred into the center of the cage.


When we entered the building where they keep the sows and boars, the sound was even louder than Randall’s lunch room!


The sudden squeals of the piglets touched my heart, and the adorable piggy’s twingling, mischievous eyes made me want to laugh out loud. How the soft, wet snout on my chin made me feel is hard to describe.

The sows and boars were snorting and banging on the side of the cages when we walked past. They were so loud it scared me, and they would suddenly jump at the front of their cages, which surprised me, too.


At the pig farm the noise shocked me. There was a placenta in the room where the piglets were born that shocked me, but I could not show it or I would get in trouble. The smell at the butcher shop almost made me throw up. Also, at the butcher shop when they were cutting carcasses and shaving them and taking out the bones I was getting very, very shocked.


Black Earth Meats

The slimy sausage filling was very interesting, but when they sawed a cow in half it made me feel a bit uneasy.


Two large cow tongues sat on the counter I was standing near. If you looked closely, you could see that the end that had been connected to the mouth was jiggling back and forth just the slightest bit.


The butcher shop was awesome. Actually it was gross too. There was a dead headless cow lying upside down on a table, and they were culling the skin off of it. The skull and the tongues were on a table and both of them were moving. When we went into the next room I had to dodge dead cows hanging from the ceiling.


It shocked me how they skinned the cows and how they cut them in half. Another gross thing was the smell of guts.

Juan Pablo

Cedar Grove Cheese Factory

Cheesemaking in the Cedar Grove Cheese Factory begins at 10 P.M., when 100,000 pounds of milk arrive. By late the next morning, that will become 10,000 pounds of cheddar cheese.


Not long ago, there were close to a hundred cheese factories in Dane County, but now there are actually zero, zip, none, nada. We had to drive OUT of Dane County to find one.


The Cedar Grove Cheese Factory is 102 years old. In the early 1900s, it was just a basement, and upstairs is where the cheese maker lived.

To make cheese, there are two things you have to learn: Science and the Art of Cheese. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Heat milk to high temperature. The pasteurizer does that.
  2. Put the milk into a vat.
  3. Add bacteria for flavor.
  4. Put enzymes to make the milk thicken.
  5. Cut cheese into cubes with a machine called a harp.

Cheeses are all made differently, so a factory will probably make only one or two kinds of cheese.


The Cheese Factory
by Alice

they stir
the milk
to make
the cheese
they spray
the fogged-
up window
then off
we’re sent
with orange
cheese curd
skeak skeak!
skeak skeak!
is the noise 
they make
in my

Mary and Willi Lehner: Yodeling Cheesemakers

Do you know what yodeling is? It’s when you change your voice to different sounds. It’s like singing. Willi Lehner is a cheese maker and a yodeler too. His family is from Switzerland. The person who taught him how to yodel is his mom. When he was in first grade, he sang a song for a Christmas party, and his mom said that when she heard him singing she decided to teach him how to yodel. She would play records for him, and he kept on playing them too so he would learn how to yodel. Willi said that now he is teaching his daughter the same songs.


Yodeling is when you sing, and raise and lower your voice just like Tarzan.


Willi practices yodeling every day.


Mary Lehner came over on the Queen Mary when she was 22. The trip over took five days. When she arrived, she thought Wisconsin was really big, because Switzerland is one third of Wisconsin and a third of Switzerland is not livable because of mountains.

She brought with her a liking of gardening. She also brought with her some Swiss songs, and when she got married and had kids she taught them these songs. “We used to practice once a day,” said Willi, one of her children.

Willi’s dad was a cheesemaker. At age five, Willi started helping in the cheese factory, scrubbing machines and floors. He didn’t actually start making cheese until he was nine.

Now Willi is still a cheesemaker, and he goes around to five different factories making different kinds of cheese such as Swiss and cheddar.


Willi Lehner is a very talented man. He can make cheese, yodel, and keep a family going. He came in and told us about his experiences and his culture.

Switzerland is like a fairy tale land. There are cows on the hills and beautiful scenery. They make cheese and garden. But then again, Switzerland is quite small. It is about a third the size of Wisconsin.

If you drive out of one town, you are immediately in another. Willi’s mother moved here because her husband lived here. He also makes cheese and yodels.

Willi learned to yodel when he was seven. His parents thought he had a good voice. He said it takes about ten years to really know how to yodel. He sang a couple of songs for us, and they were beautiful.


What I know about Will Lehner is that he yodels and he’s a cheesemaker. And he came from Switzerland. He started yodeling when he was just seven years old. It was fun for him, I think. He started by listening to records and singing with them and that’s how he got good. When his mom went to see him perform she couldn’t believe it. It was beautiful to her. He knows 20 songs.

He learned to make cheese when he was a young boy, too. He saw his Dad making it and that is how he got started. He makes it from milk and curds. To make it tasty, you put bacteria in. Not bad bacteria, good bacteria. Now what I know about his mom is that her name is Mary and that she came to the US when she was 24. She has six kids, and all of them were singers. They had a singing family.


Willi learned to yodel when he was ten years old. He listened to yodeling on the radio and practiced it. He was raised in Mt. Horeb. He felt mostly American but still felt Swiss, too. His mom Mary is from Switzerland. She came to Mount Horeb where her husband made cheese. Mary would listen to the radio and yodel along. She makes her own bread and gardens.


Mary is the mother of Willi. Mary and Willi were born in Switzerland. Switzerland is very different than the US because it is smaller, they have different clothing, different foods, different songs, different language, different money, and different culture.

Willi started yodeling when he was seven years old. It took ten years for him to learn. He uses different tunes. Willi sang the song Come to the Mountain for us. He practices yodeling every day. He knows 20 songs.

Willi’s dad was a cheesemaker and Willi always wanted to be a cheesemaker. He makes cheddar cheese, brick cheese, and Swiss cheese. Willi sells cheese to people himself, and he doesn’t sell cheese in the store.


They say that what makes a good yodeler is if he or she has their own style.


Originally yodeling helped people communicate. The low sounds traveled the farthest.


You don’t want small holes for Swiss cheese. You want large holes.


Mary Lehner had six kids who were singers. They had rosti and fondue for breakfast.


Mary Lehner, Willi’s mom, came to the United States from Switzerland when she was 24. She came over on a boat called the Queen Mary. It took five days. When Mary got here her husband had already come over and was making cheese. Willi’s cousins live in Switzerland and he lives in Blue Mounds Wisconsin USA.

Willi says Switzerland is like a fairy tale land. Cities are very close together. Mary likes gardens. They raise lots of leek in Switzerland, but they don’t grow sweet corn. In Switzerland, the grandpa usually gets the grandchild a Swiss jacket for Christmas.

Willi listened to records of people yodeling to help him learn. He knows about 20 songs. Mary made him practice every day. He was seven when hear learned how. Most songs are about Nature. The bacteria in cheese makes it taste different, and aging the cheese makes it taste different.


Mary Lehner, Willi Lehner’s mom, came to the US from Switzerland as a young woman alone on the Queen Mary, a journey that took five days. She then spent one year in Barneville with Willi’s father before moving to Mt. Horeb, where she is today.

Willi traveled to Switzerland where he got his cheesemaking license. Switzerland is a third the size of Wisconsin, and a third of it is uninhabitable because of mountains. Willi says that everything starts feeling compressed after a while.

Willi told us some interesting things about cheesemaking, like the fact that bacteria is the biggest part in the cheese’s taste.


When Willi Lehner was a kid he felt more American than Swiss, but as he got older he felt more like a Swiss American because he had traveled to Switzerland and gotten to know people there. It’s like a fairy tale is how he described it. He told us the only reason he left was because it was so small and cramped.

Willi started yodeling when his mom heard him sing and decided to teach him some songs. Sometimes they would go around and sing in a group and wear special outfits. He learned how to yodel when he was seven, but it took him ten years to get really good. He had five other siblings, but he was the yodeling soloist.


Gardening hasn’t changed for Mary. She grows almost everything she grew in Switzerland. To eat, she makes something like hash browns, it’s called Rostil. She also makes bread and pies.


This is sort of a how you make cheese. First, you get organic milk. Then you add a certain amount of bacteria that gives it flavor. Then you let the bacteria eat the milk sugar, then put it in a curder. You feel it. If it’s rubbery, then you can cut it into slabs. You let it age in a refrigerator.


Mary Lehner came to the US from a country called Switzerland. Switzerland is a third the size of Wisconsin, and a third of Switzerland is mountains, so it is a very small country. She came to the US because her boyfriend did. He was a cheesemaker in Mt. Horeb.

She came over on a boat by herself. She said that they gave her free drinks on the boat. Mary had six children, and one of them was Willi. She taught them all kinds of Swiss songs and they learned how to yodel. At one point, Willi knew 36 different Swiss songs, all with yodeling in them.

Willi also learned how to make cheese from his Dad. The different bacteria in cheese give it different flavors.


Mary Lehner left her family, her heritage and her country and sailed on the Queen Mary to be with her cheese making boyfriend in Wisconsin. She was only 22 years old.

The Swiss couple moved to Mount Horeb and had Willi and his five siblings. They all learned to sing and yodel at a very young age. Willi was the biggest yodeler in the family, and always sang the tricky parts.

He also helped his dad in the cheese plant at an early age. He has a picture of himself standing on top of a big wheel of cheese. As he got older, he began to do more and more complex things at the factory. He spent a lot of time scrubbing floors, pails, vats, machines, and many other things. Then he finally started to make cheese.


Willi is a yodeling cheesemaker. He visits Switzerland frequently. His mother, Mary, came from Switzerland because her boyfriend (Willi’s Dad) was in the US making cheese and he wanted her to come join him. It took five days on ship.

Willi said that Switzerland is about one third the size of Wisconsin. It is very compressed. In Switzerland, they ate fondue, pies, bread,and braided bread.

Willi is an excellent yodeler. He yodeled a song in Swiss to us, then translated it into English. The song’s English name is Come to the Mountain. Willi learned to yodel when he was seven. He learned by listening to records and sometimes singing along. He is teaching his daughter some songs. Most Swiss songs have something to do with Nature.

Willi’s father started making cheese with an apprenticeship. He worked on a farm at first, then he worked in a cheese factory scrubbing a lot, and then finally he actually learned to make cheese. Bacteria is the way cheesemakers make cheese taste different. Did you know that cheddar is not actually orange? The makers put food coloring in the cheese. Except Willi makes the white kind. I think that way is a lot more natural. I think Willi and Mary are great, interesting people. I had a lot of fun with them!


Willi has his own special cheese called Blue Mound. He goes to other cheese factories to make this special cheese. He goes to other factories because he does not have his own.


Dane County Farmer's Market

The Farmers’ Market is an excellent shopping place for people of all ages. It is an excellent place to go if you need fresh produce, or just if you’re going on a walk. It has dairy, bakery, flowers – you name it!



There is one guy who we have to recognize. He is Bill Warner. He is the manager. He and his wife make sure that there is a place for everybody. He also has to make sure nobody steals.


Mr. Wagler’s class of 2001-2002 visited the Wednesday Dane County Farmers’ Market on Martin Luther King Boulevard. The class interviewed vendors, observed, and took/drew pictures. Eight kids had 2 tape recorders. They split up and interviewed vendors. The rest of the class observed vendors, drew pictures and asked questions.


When we were buying things or just looking, we saw other groups and they had fun like we did.


When we went to that place where [there] was bread, I saw a lot of bees! And I thought there were no bees in fall!


The people there were very nice because they told us about where they came from and how many miles they rode. They also told us that most of their customers come on Saturday and not very many on Wednesday.


On Wednesday, we took the Madison City bus downtown, a block away from the Capitol. When my class and I got to the Market, we split up into groups into separate ways.


At the Farmers’ Market your product has to be made/grown in Wisconsin.


A lot of the people who worked as vendors lived on a farm or owned a lot of land and they grew a lot of the produce that they sold. A lot of people there were bakers.


I think it was very fun to go there because now we know the culture of vending and the Farmers’ Market.


Today we saw not a lot of people. The boss said that the vendor people had to produce all their food and items from Wisconsin. A lot of people were from a lot of miles away. This one person was from ninety-five miles away.


Dinner at the Norway Grove Memorial Lutheran Church

Schubert's Old Fashioned Café and Bakery

Schubert’s is the community meeting spot for Mt. Horeb. Every morning, a group has coffee there. They tell stories, mostly about recent events. The story going around lately is about a deer disease law suit. They also tell stories about how Mount Horeb used to be a small town, and as it got bigger, the government wanted to put in subdivisions. But the people of Mt. Horeb felt they should keep some areas the same. (There are 6000 people now, but 20 years ago there were only 1800.)


At the restaurant, we got pastries. Very good ones. We got to pick out of a selection of them. I got a Long John with frosting and sprinkles on top. Gabby got a chocolate cupcake with loads of frosting. They also gave us the recipe book that is used for the creations of the restaurant, Norwegian pastries called rosettes – dough that is shaped and then deep fried and sprinkled with powdered or brown sugar. Mmmmmm!

The guy who gave us pastries was a 4th grade teacher long ago (well, not so long ago). So next time you are in Mount Horeb, stop at Schuberts!


When we went into the kitchen, we were greeted with a warm aroma of some unknown delicacy.


Several residents of Mt. Horeb came to talk to the kids about their community. Mount Horeb is a really clean town. The people are really polite and friendly. There’s good industry, antique shops and really good places to eat. You will remember a lot of people who live in Mount Horeb, because it is a really small town.


Candina's Chocolate


When we came in, the whole shop was shining! Like it was just cleaned. On my right and left, there were plants. (I guess to decorate.) There was a couch that could hold four people. Then we saw a man walking. He was the one who sold chocolate! His name is Markus Candina’s and he was dressed all in white, just like in the hospital. He had grey eyes. He talked with us about the chocolate. He said that in one year, they make more than 1 million chocolates!


Candina’s is ranked one of the ten best chocolate makers in America. It was started by a guy who is of Swiss ancestry and went to Switzerland to study chocolate making.


Tea at Schumacher Farm

After hiking and sledding at Indian Hill, we all went to afternoon tea at Schumacher Farm in Waunakee.  Judy Borke, the coordinator of Schumacher Farm welcomed us with homemade marshmallows and other delicacies with our afternoon tea. While we ate, master gardener Allen Holzhueter talked with us about the historical gardens at Schumacher. Then, Judy played the pump organ and we all sang songs that Judy had learned when she attended a one-room schoolhouse.


The Tea
by Anna
A soft, green
rimmed china.
I sit.
Elegance waves
over me.
Afternoon tea
a fun-filled
in the Depression.

Bayview Food

We made some egg rolls… the first thing you put in is meat, eggs, noodles, cabbage, onions, carrots, basil, fish sauce, soy sauce. Then you mix them up together and take the wrapper and fold it together.


… And we fold it together, then we put a little egg sauce, and we gave it to Pao’s mom, and there’s the steps of making an egg roll. My favorite part of being in Pao house is eating the egg roll. It was delicious.


Rice is one of the main Hmong foods. They have it for practically every meal: lunch, dinner and even breakfast (?).